Today marks the final day of our 4 week challenge. How did you do? Was it harder than you thought it would be? Or easier?
When you set your goal 4 weeks ago you had an idea in mind of what it would feel like today. Think of the picture you had then. How do things measure up right now?
How Do You Measure Up?
Don’t worry if you didn’t meet your goal. I’ll be the first to say that I did not meet mine every single day. Sometimes that happens. The truth is, if you set a goal that’s a little bit hard to reach, you are more motivated to try for it. What you need to consider is, compared to where you were before, did you improve? If you can honestly answer yes to this question then you are on your way to reaching your end goal.
Your first deadline is here. Assess where you are, set a new deadline and a new goal and keep moving. If you succeeded, take some time to figure out what worked for you and if you can expect the same success in the future. If you missed your goal, take this time to reflect on what happened. Was it too overwhelming? Too easy? Maybe you just don’t really care about achieving that goal…
Whatever the reason, the failure exists merely to let you know what is and is not working. It isn’t there to remind you of how you messed up again. It’s not there to mock you for your shortcomings. All that failure is, is a measure of where you are, and where you want to be. Don’t give it any more power than it deserves. Did you write your initial goal down? If not, how can you be sure that you are measuring against a baseline?
Compared To What?
I might be tempted to discount all of the workouts I did during the challenge because I haven’t lost a ton of weight. But the truth is, my goal was never to lose weight. It was to run 3 times per week and do the beginner bodyweight workout twice per week. And the reason I wanted to do that is because I couldn’t focus and had a serious case of writer’s block. I set a clearly defined a goal that I had control over and I wrote it down, so it is easy to measure whether or not I was successful.
If I had chosen to lose a certain amount of weight during this challenge, and then for some reason I didn’t lose (or didn’t lose as much as I thought I should), I would have a means to rationalize not being healthy in the future. Have you ever said, “I don’t even know why I try, I never lose any weight anyway.”
Stop setting goals you can’t control. And no, you cannot control how much weight you lose. You can control what you eat. You can control whether or not you exercise. You can control your sleep schedule. But you are not omnipotent and I’m sorry to say, cannot force your body to relinquish that last 5 pounds if it doesn’t want to.
So think about what you can do to convince your body to let go and set those activities as goals instead. You can eat healthy foods. You can walk for 20 minutes every day. You can turn all your screens off 30 minutes before bed. You can drink water after 12 p.m. But short of cutting a chunk out of your thigh, you cannot just decide to lose 5 pounds. If people could do this we would all be walking around with perfectly sculpted biceps and the Shake Weight never would have been seen on t.v.
This week was a bit of a challenge. My schedule has been a little erratic so I missed a few workout days. But I did make them up on different days by working out just a little bit longer. That’s the beauty of setting a small amount of time to workout (20 minutes). If I miss one, it’s only 20 minutes to make up. But, if I set a workout schedule that requires me to fit an hour in every day, if I miss then I have to make up an hour.
My schedule is way too busy for that. I have tried and failed at the “I’ll schedule an hour and if I workout at least 20 minutes I’ll be good” approach about a billion times. This time I tried something new. I scheduled just 20 minutes at a specific time of day. This was so much less overwhelming than scheduling an hour and then guilting myself if I didn’t do it all. This way, if I felt good enough to continue I could always do more than scheduled. But, if I didn’t want to or didn’t have the time I still met my goal.
Overall, I am very pleased with this challenge. My writer’s block is completely gone and that has allowed me to get really clear on what you, my readers,want. And bonus, since I set a goal I could control I can now celebrate the fact that I’ve lost 6 pounds this month, instead of being disappointed that it wasn’t 10.
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